If you’re looking for a threesome with John Turturro, Woody Allen’s stylings and Hasidic Brooklyn, start taking off your pants.
Director, writer and actor Turturro has cast himself as a leading man. He plays ladies’ man Fioravante and Woody Allen plays his lifelong friend, Murray.
An offer for a suitable partner for a ménage a trois sets up an implausible plot where Murray becomes a pimp for his cash-strapped friend (and first time gigolo), Fioravante. The unlikely pairing of Allen and Turturro in these roles was obviously built for immediate humor and they definitely provide that.
You can almost see how the female characters assume this gigolo, who gets his hands dirty, could be worth their money because he’s “disgusting in a very positive way.” Almost. It’s really difficult to grasp why every woman in the film is dumb enough to fall for all of this, and that’s where the film fails.That aside, Turturro directs his characters with some lovely performances. Sharon Stone plays vulnerable and understated. Sofia Vergara is less cartoonish than I expected she could be. French singer Vanessa Paradis makes us believe her ridiculous story is sweet and not cruel. And Allen gives one of his most relaxed performances — ever.
Sometimes the dialogue, the jazz soundtrack and the enchanting New York setting tossed me into the wonderful world of a Woody Allen film. Sometimes I was thrilled that I had landed in a modern Moonstruck. Too many times I thought I was watching a bad Turturro dream.
But the sweetness of the film, and the small moments throughout, made up for the thin plot — and I was charmed-off-guard.
Simply put: Not top shelf, but it’s funny and more charming than it should be.
Award potential: Nope. Director Turturro pulls some great performances out of everyone, but he didn’t write the characters as strong as Allen does.
The ten buck review: Worth ten bucks.